The last time I took Advanced Jazz was for a workshop, let’s just say I haven’t been back on that level since. It might have been over two or three years ago but I remember vividly how difficult it was. The level was far beyond what I was capable of and I clearly drowned in sweat and amateurism, I don’t recall doing too well!
I have decided it’s time for another crack after watching videos posted by Ailsa, I sifted through every Int/Adv Jazz videos to get a feel of what to expect. I recognised many steps and thought they were achievable – besides the odd splits and high legs, I believe it’s time to try again.
I asked Ailsa too during my private ballet lesson, yes, I had a one-on-one on techniques and the basics of ballet – it was an astonishing eye-opener and she was amazing. I mean it. I learned more in an hour with her than all the lessons combined – I always knew ballet was more complicated than what I was picking up in class. Not to say the class is bad – it’s actually superb, but usually there are many people and it’s difficult to go through techniques with every individual, certainly not the depth I’ve been wanting to learn. I would imagine most people are happy to take class as an exercise, whereas I yearn for precision, structure and an understanding of ballet, I wanted corrections. Ailsa taught me ballet the way it should be, that it is HARD.
And I loved it!
Anyway, to sum up my week, Monday I did Adv. Tap, Beg. Jazz and Private lesson Ballet, Tuesday it was Adv. Jazz (which I will get to shortly!), Wednesday the return of Flamenco (Gloria had a month break!), and Thursday Ballet and Contemporary. You can imagine my body right now, I reckon I’ll ache until Sunday at least.
Here we are, sorry I haven’t written for a while, I waffle.
So, I turned up in Studio 3 – the main studio was undergoing resurfacing – not ideal as 3 is rectangular and much too small for Jazz. Ailsa had to improvise the class. I walked in and was immediately scanned by what felt like half the class stretching on the floor, I have seen a few of them before but some I haven’t, they were classy, slim and agile and looked like they belonged – they were dancers. I, on the other hand was joined by K and the young lad from Beginners Jazz – he’s got a massive pair of cahonas for going there, he’s barely had half a year of Beginners! I actually admire his guts. I was on the fringe, away from the core of girls who knew what they were doing!
The warm-up was TOUGH, now I thought Carlotta’s was difficult, this was the next level – it was savage! Didn’t help by the fact it was a terribly humid evening and I had sweat pouring from every part of my body. Still, I loved it! I tried to keep up and think I did for 95% of it, there were burpees and spiderman crawls… they worked my shoulders and arms, it was fantastic! I haven’t had a workout like that for a LONG time, it was borderline torture! I engaged plenty of new muscles.
The across the room was humbling, they were familiar steps but twice the speed and slightly trickier to remember. Now that I think about it, I can physically cope with Adv. Jazz, the trick is to train my memory better, get my brain up to that speed and I should be ok. If that’s the level Ailsa teach, then that’s the level I reach. For my first time, I don’t think I did that badly… I just need to compensate flexibility with whatever I can. I did admire the girls, they were very good, didn’t feel worthy to be among them – but meh, I gotta do my own thing.
Routine, now I struggled with the speed. Ailsa did warn me that it’s fast, I won’t have time to absorb, I had to memorise quicker. She’s absolutely right, I got all the steps, but my mind lagged about 2 seconds behind – in dance term, that’s an eternity! I did my best to concentrate (I could have done better), and just couldn’t match the speed. I’m sure when the video is out, I will watch it and squirm, urgh. Anyway, the routine can be forgotten – I’ll chalk it under embarrassing debut! I’m not scared of the class, there’s only so much we do in Beginners, it doesn’t matter how long I stay there for – I will never do anything at Adv. speed, wouldn’t it make sense to keep coming here? Only by pushing myself to the brink will I improve, I’m confident of that. Just need to get the initial hurdle over with – need to reprogram my brain to process faster. I’ll be fine, give me time to acclimatise!
So, not the smoothest of debut, but physically I did well to keep up, just need to raise the game.